ARCH 1289 . ARCH 1290 . ARCH 1291 . ARCH 1292 . ARCH 1293

GEOMETRY OF LIGHT: Specialist Lighting for Retail and Hospitality

Tutor: Ali Loader + Deb Barton
Schedule: Wednesday 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: 8.12.36

Light is the medium through which we visually perceive the world around us. This intangible phenomenon that connects us to the physical world through our eyes holds an extraordinary power over us. In this specialisation you will focus on the art of the specialist lighting designer in the context of retail and hospitality design. Working in these types of spaces means engaging directly with product and branding on behalf of the client, on one hand, and generating a unique and intimate customer experience, on the other.

To begin you will research examples of light artworks, develop a personal aesthetic, and build a working knowledge of the relationship between the art and science of lighting design. To facilitate this you will be introduced to the biology of human visual perception. You will also investigate the differences between different lighting technologies (LED, fluorescent, incandescent, etc.), colour temperatures, colour renderings, illuminance levels, and a develop a basic knowledge of the Australian Building Code as it pertains to lighting.

Drawing on this body of knowledge, you will then design the feature and functional lighting design for a existing retail or hospitality interior provided by established Melbourne design practice, Techne Architecture and Interior Design. They will be your client and you will respond to their brief to generate a branded identity for your space through light and effectively 'reach out' to their targeted customer groups.

You will make physical models throughout the course to test your ideas. You will also be introduced to lighting calculation softwares such as Dialux Evo and Relux. These have the benefit that they are open access applications that are free to download and can be integrated into any 3D models you produce. 

Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Identify aspects of lighting design within the everyday environment (good and bad) and evaluate examples of them through group presentation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the biology and technology of light and lighting by translating them into the physical realm.
  • Work with a real world client. Analyse and unpack the client brief to generate initial concepts for design.
  • Test and evaluate light investigations and design ideas through model making.
  • Work within real world constraints of brief, technology, spatial limitations, regulations, etc. to produce a final lighting design.
  • Integrate the poetic aspirations of your lighting designs with the technical know how to realise them.


Tutor: Andrew Miller
Schedule: Wednesdays 1:30pm - 4:30pm
Location: 8.12.36

The expanded field of interior design is increasingly facilitated by emerging technologies in digital fabrication, 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC milling, robotics, Arduino environmental and wearable sensors, and real time simulation software, to name a few. In this specialisation you will explore the potential of these technologies by designing and fabricating a wall tiling system for use in a commercial or residential context. In this focus, you will investigate the idea of surface as depth, and the interplay between geometric repetition, variation and deformation. You will also explore how digital technologies can be used in conjunction with traditional crafting technologies and, thereby, develop a hands­on knowledge of materials and the experience and functionality of form.

Practical investigations will be supported by in class and online Rhino tutorials, hands on making and crafting, precedent research, and readings. You will be required to reflect critically on your process as a way of developing and positioning your work in a global design context.
Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Develop a client brief
  • Produce and present experimental design concept proposals
  • Analyse and critically respond to case studies
  • Interpret material and precedent studies into a design proposal
  • Design and deliver an outcome from concept to actualisation
  • Critically reflect on the design process as a way of identifying problems and nourishing further iterations/explorations in design research.


Tutor: Georgie Brooks
Schedule: Wednesdays 9:30am - 12:30pm
Location: 8.7.Workshop

In this specialisation you will explore sustainable design practices through a series of hands­on, workshop based classes. First, you will work individually to plan, design, and make two pieces from found objects at 1:1 scale: a wearable object and a small object/vessel or furniture piece. Through these means you will develop an understanding of detailing and designing joinery and objects. Then you will then work collectively as a group to design, curate, and install an exhibition of class outcomes. In the process, you will be asked to reflect and look for threads that connect the work

These projects relate directly to interior design and spatial practice insofar as you will be encouraged to challenge yourself with problem solving, design presentation, exhibition making and materials research. It will be a very hands­on subject where there is an expectation that the work must be completed to a highly finished standard. There will also be a strong emphasis on using effective graphic methods to present work.

Through this course you will gain a greater understanding of sustainable design practices and explore ways to design ethically whilst still producing pieces that are considered, well detailed and have a high level of design acumen. Through making objects from different materials, you will gain an insight into the importance of materials research in interior design. Insofar as you will also be expected to collaboratively design an exhibition and produce a design journal there is also a strong emphasis on pitching ideas and projects.

Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Confidently use the workshop (jewellery hand tools, wax carving/lost wax techniques/wood working)
  • Design and construct highly detailed objects at 1:1 scale
  • Develop decision making skills central to the design development process
  • Design and curate an exhibition of group work
  • Analyse and assess the potential of discarded objects and how they might be re-purposed.


Tutor: Jess Caffin + David Williamson
Schedule: Mondays 5:30 - 8:30pm

This specialisation will combine practices of wayfinding, placemaking, and user-focused design. You will explore the key principles of successful way­finding design and strategies for integrating it into the built environment to enhance user experience. In the process, you will merge strategic and creative thinking to promote interaction and engagement with the physical realm.

Through a series of small investigation projects, you will identify user touch points within typical journeys and experiences (including materials, textures, sounds, smells, information delivery, human interaction, temperature, wind, sun).

You will then be asked to design touch points for a particular site, to help activate the space and make it engaging to users. Using principles outlined in Kevin Lynch’s ‘Image of the City’, you will look at how people perceive and engage with spaces, and as designers, what changes you can make to improve engagement levels and create positive experiences. Along the way, you will also be asked to identify roles and opportunities for digital media and technology in your project, questioning what measures improve the experience of a space, and what measures are redundant or detract.

Over the course of the semester, you will prepare and present work using the same delivery method as a typical professional design project: first with a strategic plan, then concepts, design development and final designs. During informal weekly presentations of work in progress you will become comfortable
with talking about ideas and critically analysing the work of others.

Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Use spatial planning skills to create spaces informed by process
  • Create environments that communicate
  • Apply the principles of user­experience design
  • Analyse the role of digital information delivery within physical spaces and its impact on the experience.
  • Access information about augmented reality technologies and new methods for information transfer
  • Take a project through the design process (from information gathering and investigation, to strategy development, concept design, design development, testing and evaluation).

REDEFINING THE BATHROOM: Bathroom as Social Space

Tutor: Lauren Steller
Schedule: Wednesdays 9:30am - 12:30pm
Location: 100.07.008

This specialisation is the first in a series of industry partnered collaborations with Reece Bathrooms. You will investigate the social dimensions of the contemporary bathroom and develop narratives of use for the shared, the family and the communal bathroom experience.

In the process, you will become familiar with the products, technology and trends in bathroom fixture design (in close cooperation with Reece). Beyond this you will encompass a research based approach to thinking about the bathroom as a place for social interaction.

Ultimately you will develop a series of narratives around the idea of the bathroom and develop provocative design solutions that respond to a given social scenario. The work produce by the class as a whole will form the basis for an exhibition, publication and online marketing campaign hosted by Reece.


Tutor: Linda Raimondo
Schedule: Mondays 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: 8.10.28

The topic for this specialisation is hospitality design in small spaces. The interest in small spaces is global. The reasons are economic and ecological. This specialisation will address this issue through designing a hospitality space over three floors, in narrow rectangular site between two urban dwellings. Your design will respond to a client brief, provide a cafe/bar, and adapt the existing facade to suit your evolving interior.

You will begin by researching existing small spaces, rituals involving food and drink, and ways in which design can mimic nature in order to be sustainable. You will then begin to develop concepts in response to your design brief and take one of these ideas through to a coherent and practical solution. Techniques for spatial production will include model making, 3d modeling (computer), hand sketching and technical drawing.

Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Conduct design research
  • Generate concept designs and carry them through to design development
  • Do effective space planning
  • Use a range of media to generate and test design ideas

ORTHOGRAPHICS: Advanced Technical Drawing

Tutor: Millie Cattlin
Schedule: Thursdays 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: 8.7.153

Orthographic: "representing a three ­dimensional object in two dimensions... a form of parallel projection, where all the projection lines are orthogonal to the projection plane”.
In this specialisation you will cover the fundamental techniques and conventions involved in producing orthographic drawings using AutoCad. You will begin by analysing a range of precedent drawing types, styles and techniques. You will then challenge the conventions found in these drawings and develop new techniques for graphic representation.
The subject matter for your drawings will be sourced from precedent drawings, with a focus on key words such as: solid, void, form, line, grid, frame, shadow, wall, path, stack, pattern.
The course will be split into two parts: During the first six weeks you will work your way through a series of task based projects to develop technical and organisational skills using Autocad. For the second six weeks, you will become more independent, taking risks with your own drawing techniques and methods, and developing your own graphic style by experimenting with the methods taught in class. please refer to www.orthographics.net for project samples and weekly schedule outline

Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Effectively use Autocad
  • Learn the conventions of reading and producing orthographic drawings, with a focus on plans, sections, elevations and axonometric drawings.
  • Become more familiar with drawing techniques and conventions including scale, shading, plotting, line weights, page set­outs, and how to put together a drawing package.
  • Develop graphic representation styles and techniques across a range of types and scales
  • Work efficiently with time by thinking and planning how to produce a drawing.
  • Have a range of established templates and style guides for drawing including the organisation of useful line­ weights, blocks and drawing templates.
  • Plan the best way to communicate a design prior to beginning the documentation process.
  • Understand the value of different drawings at different stages in a design process. For instance the difference between documentation for construction and a design drawing for presentation
  • Experiment with existing drawing conventions in order to develop your own graphic style.


Tutor: Pandarosa
Schedule: Wednesdays 12:30pm - 3:30pm
Location: 8.10.24

In this specialisation you will explore how the visual language of branding can be transformed from its initial 'static' graphic representations into a dynamic, versatile solution that can be adapted to a variety of spatial interior applications and, thereby, generate a more immersive branding experience. To achieve this you will investigate the key principles of graphic branding. You will then use strategies of deconstruction, repetition, disassembling and re­assembling to expand the 2D language to suit a spatial application.

The semester will begin with a series of workshops exploring the elements of graphic branding. You will then focus on either a retail, hospitality, or cultural space, develop an appropriate 2D branding concept for it, and expand this concept to generate an immersive 3D experience.

The aim of the specialisation is to explore relationships between 2D and 3D design and develop the spatial potential of 2D graphics. Throughout the specialisation there will be a strong focus on process and design development.

Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Generate an immersive brand experience for a retail, hospitality of cultural space
  • Generate a branding concept that has 2D and 3D application
  • Generate concept designs and carry them through to design development
  • Generate design through the act of making


Tutor: Rob Sowter
Schedule: Wednesdays 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Location: 8.10.28

Living in small huts has a rich history in ritual and retreat. This history begs the following questions: what are the minimum requirements to live comfortably, what materials can they be made from, and how skilled do you need to be to construct them? In this specialisation you will design a series of pavilions for a wooded block in the bush in Queensland. These pavilions will respond to a proposed 'way of living' on this bush block.

You will engage with the site using map images, existing site survey material, and existing photographs, and by making a detailed site map. Materials for your project may be selected from the bush around the site. By using such materials, you will engage with a history of the Australian 'hut' vernacular, whilst proposing a project that engages with the limitations of these materials and proposes a strong design outcome as a result.

The design process regularly presumes a 'perfect' outcome, but in delivery there are sure to be compromises, with the 'perfect proposal' wearing these compromises to good or ill. In this specialisation you will explore processes that engage with and even celebrate imperfection in process and outcome.

Throughout the semester, there will be a focus on engagement with context (immediate and cultural), model making and construction techniques, and the role of the hand in making and representation.

Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Describe methods of construction
  • Evaluate areas that 'matter most' in design for construction
  • Employ skills to make physical objects
  • Sketch to rationalise and develop ideas
  • Locate sources of information relating to specific skills
  • Appraise information to determine 'most likely' outcomes
  • Make models to develop and demonstrate design
  • Develop design through diagramming and sketching

ILLUMINATING DESTINATION: specialists lighting in hotel and commercial lobbies

Tutor: Sarah Palliser
Schedule: Wednesdays 9:30am - 12:30pm
Location: 8.12.36

Hotel and commercial lobbies are monumental spaces designed to showcase a companies brand, image and values. In this specialisation you will learn how to combine light and shade, artificial and natural light, colour rendering and way­finding, to generate a sense of journey and create a sense of arrival within these monumental spaces. In the process, you will become familiar with the lighting tools necessary to sculpt these areas and build a visual narrative linking the physical experience of entering the space with the company’s aspirations. You will also explore the nature of surface and texture under both natural and artificial light, link atmospheric envelopes to space/form, time and function, and discover shadow.

Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Apply the lessons of natural light and illumination to interior space.
  • Make connections between colour/colour temperatures and psychological effects
  • Design using combinations of uplighting, reflective, direct and indirect lighting.
  • Use an array of different light fixtures and lamp types.
  • Specify lamp, beam, wattage/load and appropriate fixtures
  • Draw lighting plans, elevations and otherwise visualise and communicate lighting designs
  • Develop a lighting concept into a full documented lighting design package.

ARABESQUE: Designing a dance studio

Tutor: Sonya Veronica Iskanda
Schedule: Mondays 5:30 - 8:30pm
Location: 8.11.46

This specialisation looks at the intimate relationship between space and its users in the context of the dance studio. Like dance, design is a practice in flux. As Interior Designers, we are required to be flexible in our approach to design while always staying focused on the end users. We need to understand the user's multiple movements so that we can design for them. In doing so, we enable the user to move through and around their space with ease and conduct their activities in the best way possible. These are the most crucial elements of a functional spatial design.

During this specialisation you will select a space within the RMIT Design Hub and adapt it for dance. In the process you will investigate one or more dance styles (ballet, contemporary dance, etc.), learn a range of physical movements beyond the usual day­to­day activities, explore the limitations and potentials of the site, and develop a functional brief to suit.

Some dances, such as ballet, are taught in quite a regimented manner and its specific requirements have a strong bearing on the brief. In developing your brief for your design, you will combine the pragmatics of a user focus with a speculative and experimental approach. You will seek out specific information, question your own findings, anticipate further requirements, seek (invent!) solutions, sketch, diagram, brainstorm and, in the process, grasp the importance of creating a functional brief as the basis and foundation for design.

Through this course you will learn how to:

  • Develop a comprehensive, functional brief and associated data sheets
  • Generate space layouts and plans
  • Design for the specificity of a highly functional project
  • Combine space planning and data sheets and use them as a springboard for concept design.
  • Use diagrams and drawings to aid design development.

University Elective

University Wide Elective
Undergraduate Students Only

URBAN ANIMATORS: Living Laboratory

Tutor: Grace Leone
Schedule: 9:30am - 12:30pm
Location: 050.01.001

In this course you engage with the RMIT City Campus as a ‘Living Laboratory’ during its transformation as part of the New Academic Street (NAS) capital works project. You will engage in a practice-based work integrated learning project, working individually and in groups to re-spond to an industry standard brief for a temporary artistic public intervention. You will receive and apply industry feedback in order to submit a concept to the NAS Project Team with a potential opportunity to be selected to have your final concept physically realised on the RMIT City Campus during the NAS construction phase. This elective will offer you an opportunity to work collaboratively with students from various disciplines including the RMIT Master of Art in Public Space program in responding to the brief.